March 20 • 05:20 AM

Local food list keeps growing

January 07, 2009
Okay, so I deserve three lashes for leaving some very important people off the list of year-round local foods to buy.

Honestly, I had planned to include eggs on that original list.

For more than a year now, we've been devouring the delicious brown eggs our neighbors started selling for a mere $1.50 a dozen.

Mary Lou gave me a gentle reminder when I stopped there for two dozen recently. Yes, her hens lay year round and boy, are we thankful. Every time we throw a few in the frying pan on Saturday morning, we marvel at the buttery yolks that just don't compare to....well, anything else.

Who can forget honey? It's one of those wonder foods that never goes bad, although recommended shelf life is two years. Still, that's better than most of the things in our pantries.

‘Incredible, edible’ fresh eggs are just some of the really tasty locally produced food products we can find year round. photo by Maria Brown.
Buying locally-produced honey is about the only thing I've known. Since I can remember, my parents bought from the Arnolds on Doran Rd. My favorite still has to be peanut butter and honey on toast.

Researchers continue to find more medicinal uses for the sticky stuff too. The people from Penn State found a small dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime helped quell a child's cough better than over the counter medication.

I know that others suffering from allergies swear that taking a spoonful of local honey helps alleviate their symptoms too.

Some grocery stores sell honey from local keepers. Most have a stamped label that has a farm name and address.

In a couple weeks it will be time to starting tapping for maple syrup. By then, you may need to restock your shelves with the sweet goodness after lots of winter breakfasts with pancakes, waffles and oatmeal. As long as it's stored in the refrigerator, pure maple syrup will last for a year.

Again, there are a healthy number of local producers around who can fill that need.

Of course, as John Gyergyov pointed out in his letter to the editor a few weeks back, there are the local farmers who can offer their animal-based products year round including meat from the freezer like J & M Farm's famous pork.

Again, I know this firsthand. At the moment, we're devouring our own homegrown beef. It's been awhile since we were able to take home some of our own product from the meat packers. In between bites of burger, steak and roast we ponder what makes it taste so darn good, at least, compared to some of the stuff we get in the store. It's lean and flavorful and will save us some on the grocery bill.

There are lots of growers around with freezer beef, pork, poultry ready to sell. Just ask around and you'll be happy that you did.

Keep the suggestions coming and let me know if I've again left anyone out.

Email Maria at

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